Bristol is a great city and has plenty of hidden gems worth visiting while on your travels!
West Country capital Bristol isn’t just 2017’s best place to live in the UK. It’s one of the finest places to visit whatever the year, month, or day because of its many wonderful landmarks and attractions.
But there’s no point heading to England’s jewel of the south without knowing what sights you need to see, which is why you’ll find a list of its many gems on our extensive guide below. Get ready to enjoy an afternoon, weekend, or extended holiday in Bristol!
1. Clifton Suspension Bridge
No list of the best attractions should be started without Bristol’s iconic landmark. Designed by legendary engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened in 1864 and has been the site of a number of historic events, such as:
● The first modern bungee jump (1979)
● Concorde’s final flight (2003)
● An Olympic Torch relay handover (2012)
We recommend taking a stroll over the bridge before heading over to the Avon Gorge Hotel. There, you can eat a fine meal with a view of Clifton Suspension Bridge, allowing you to have one of the top Bristol attractions as your backdrop.
2. Windmill Hill City Farm
If you’re looking for one of the finest free and family-friendly attractions that Bristol has to offer, then look no further than the adorable Windmill Hill City Farm.
Just a stone's throw away from Bristol's lovely and dog-friendly Victoria Park, the farm is filled with chickens, pigs, sheep, and a range of other animals that will warm the hearts of you and your children.
3. Visit the Being Human House
After you’ve made some new friends at Windmill Hill City Farm, you can take a short walk to one of Bristol’s best places to live and the site of one of the city’s most famous modern attractions.
In Totterdown, you’ll find the house in which much of Toby Whitehouse’s supernatural comedy-drama, Being Human, was filmed. If that wasn’t enough, you can also stop for a drink at The New Found Out – the pub where the show’s Annie Sawyer worked.
While chances of you bumping into Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, and Aidan Turner are slim, there are plenty of photo opportunities. Plus, the local atmosphere is one of the friendliest in Bristol.
4. Bristol Zoo
If you’ve brought your children with you to the capital of the South West, you’ll need the guide to the top Bristol kids attractions. Ranking number one on that list is Bristol Zoo.
It has gorillas, red pandas, fish, penguins, ring-tailed lemurs, meerkats, and a list of other friendly creatures as long as your arm, making it one of the best indoor and outdoor attractions in Bristol.
5. St Mary Redcliffe Church
If you love Perpendicular Gothic architecture and are a real sucker for historical landmarks, you simply cannot miss this pick of Bristol’s landmarks.
The earliest sections of this enormous, angular masterpiece date back to the 12th century. Even the most recent parts of the original building were completed as far back as the 15th century.
Queen Elizabeth I called it "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England". And once you’ve heard the sound of St Mary Redcliffe Church’s 15 bells, you’ll understand why.
Gigs on a boat, what more could you ask for? This music venue has attracted music lovers for decades but has become one of Bristol’s most famous landmarks in recent years after the local council approved residential development nearby.
If you’re looking for a musical night out while you’re in Bristol, then there’s nowhere better than Thekla.
7. St Nicholas Indoor Market
None of Bristol’s attractions has everything you could possibly want, but the hip St Nicholas Market comes pretty close.
A previous winner of Britain’s Best Large Indoor Market, it features three sections:
● Exchange Hall – an open plan area which has a range of unique and kooky items
● Glass Arcade – full of Bristol’s best food places
● Covered Market – a range of individual shops and alleyways
The goods are sold by independent retailers, meaning that this is one Bristol landmark that allows you to give something back to the city while you treat yourself.
8. Blaise Castle
Blaise Castle was built all the way back in 1766 and is a Grade II listed building – if you painted a map of Bristol landmarks you’d need a full pot of green paint to include its 650 acres of parkland
The grounds were laid out by Humphry Repton, who is regarded as the last great 18th landscape designer to be produced by England. All of which means that if you’re looking for a wonderful, historic stroll, you can’t go wrong with Blaise Castle.
9. Bristol Old Vic Theatre
If you’re after one of Bristol’s best places to go out, look no further than the English world’s oldest theatre to be in continuous operation.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre opened in 1766, and it’s seen performances by some of the most significant and gifted actors in the world, with the triple Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis calling it "the most beautiful theatre in England".
10. SS Great Britain
Lastly, we have the ship that changed the world. Like the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and it is easily one of the top 10 Bristol attractions.
It’s the great-great grandmother of all modern-day ships, making it not just a great landmark but also a trailblazer whose influence is still being felt nearly 200 hundred years after setting off on her maiden voyage on 26 July 1845.
Bristol is a city full of modern and historical culture. It’s also a place which is easy to access, even if you don’t wish to drive there yourself. With an easily accessible airport, train stations, and coach stations, it doesn’t matter where you’re based – you can take a trip to the jewel of the South West at your convenience.
Once you’re in Bristol, you’re never far from its many highlights. Most of the best bits of Bristol are accessible by foot, but for those that aren’t, simply give AA Taxis a call and they’ll make sure you can see each of the 10 fantastic attractions and landmarks from this guide.